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Navy names crash victims

Wed., March 13, 2013, midnight

Investigation continues at Lincoln County site

The U.S. Navy has identified the three aviators who died in a jet crash Monday near Harrington, Wash.

The crew members aboard the Navy EA-6B Prowler were: pilot Lt. Valerie Cappelaere Delaney, 26, from Ellicott City, Md.; flight officer Lt. William Brown McIlvaine III, 24, of El Paso, Texas; and flight officer Lt. Cmdr. Alan A. Patterson, 34, from Tullahoma, Tenn.

The three were assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) at the Whidbey Island, Wash., Naval Air Station.

The plane was on a routine training flight across Eastern Washington when it crashed just before 9 a.m. No cause has been determined.

Teams from Whidbey Island and from other area bases, including Fairchild Air Force Base, spent Tuesday assisting in victim recovery and examining the impact area to identify clues as to why the aircraft crashed.

McIlvaine is the son of Dr. William B. McIlvaine Jr., a pediatric anesthesiologist at El Paso Children’s Hospital and a professor at Texas Tech University.

Information about Patterson was not available Wednesday.

Cappelaere Delaney was a graduate of the Naval Academy, according to a news story in the Baltimore Sun. The newspaper quoted her mother saying her daughter’s life goal was to become a Navy aviator.

Her husband, Sean Delaney, a fellow Maryland native, academy graduate and Navy pilot, is also stationed at the Whidbey Island base.

The Baltimore Sun also reported that Cappelaere Delaney’s first attempt to get into the Naval Academy failed. Determined to enter the Annapolis program, she took a year of preparatory studies at a private school in Massachusetts, excelled there and won a place at the academy the following year.

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